Connecting problems today powering dysrationalia: CIA, media, education - Shift the Script

Connecting problems today powering dysrationalia: CIA, media, education

Dysrationalia affects many people every day, and many people are unaware of how they display dysrationalia. How do we learn skills, to hone rational intelligence and overcome dysrationalia? What are the consequences of dysrationalia? What are the causes of dysrationala?
From “The Intelligence Trap” by science journalist David Robson, we know people from WEIRD (Western, Educated, Industralised, Rich, Democratic) countries are more likely to be blinded by individual biases and egocentric thinking. In “12 Rules For Life” by Dr. Jordan Peterson, the foreword explores the problems of advocating a key modern philosophy about how “everything is relative”, instead of Aristotle’s virtues and vices in “Nicomachean Ethics” as an example of a system refining a never-ending process of making vital distinctions and connections.

Education creates solutions. Education can also create problems. The need to teach a shared set of societal values, rules and skills for rational intelligence should be a primary part of every schooling system today, so children and adults can understand the importance of intellectual integrity and intellectual humility to counter dysrationalia.

Humans have 7 rules which the majority are able to relate to, according to Oliver Scott Curry at Oxford’s Institute for Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology. They are:

  1. Family values (help your family)
  2. Group loyalty to promote unity, co-operation and survival
  3. Return favours (reciprocate kindness, seek revenge, and more, due to this factor)
  4. Courage in resolving conflicts
  5. Defer to superiors (identifying people with skills being more suitable for situations)
  6. Divide resources ie compromise
  7. Respect others’ property (don’t steal)

Despite differences in prioritisation and methods, 99.9% of people across cultures agree on these 7 rules. It should be reasonably easy to have conversations with people based on these 7 unifying factors, but the biggest problem does not begin with your efforts, no matter how rationally intelligent you are, about overcoming dysrationalia.

It starts with the perceptions and assumptions in people of all cultures and countries who have not learned certain thinking skills such as self-distancing, to overcome dysrationalia. This problem is quite pervasive among people identifying as right or left, and this problem manifests in different ways. Learning about 7 rules is important, but the 7 rules must be anchored on a foundation of intellectual humility and intellectual integrity, to counter dysrationalia and hypocrisy.

What does the CIA and education today have to do with dysrationalia? The USA has many walking examples opining and or blocking others all over social media, but here is a sample of the daily reality:

CIA of the USA is obviously compromised, outsourcing too much of its necessary work and oversight to independent contractors. Vice wrote an article about this huge unresolved problem likely to involve national security breaches while touching on basic consequences (and not just because the POTUS and other government officials make decisions based on information and agendas provided by people who have done too much outsourcing), but some people will not read Vice because they believe Vice is “left-leaning biasness” or “controlled mainstream media”.

Similarly, the Department of Education has opened an investigation into certain elite universities such as Georgetown University receiving millions of dollars from countries such as Qatar and China, and the universities did not disclose any of this to regulators. If you are a college with staff responsible for the contents of American textbooks about the Middle East, your college should not be receiving funding from countries such as Qatar or Saudi Arabia.

Should colleges in First World countries be funded locally, instead of through foreign means? Speaking of Arabia, Vox and Gatestone Institute also wrote about the problems with Saudi Arabia sending funds to American universities. Each source has details which add accuracy to the overall picture. Will you read or are you intent on boycotting work based on what you assume is biased and wrong, depending on your political identity?

To do so is based in denial of reality and privileged stupidity. People who are affected by problems usually do not have the choice of treating their problems as headlines for others to consume. Regions such as East Asia and Southeast Asia have leaders and citizens who refuse to follow selfish ideals of pretending different views do not exist, because truly solving problems requires tracing the roots. 

Some people will not read the article by the Daily Caller, because it is “right-leaning conservative” with an agenda. Refusing to read articles based on sources will create problems, because you need to certify facts, discard misinformation, and find out what may be missing or wrong in different articles. Being able to look at an issue from multiple angles and self-distancing are necessary skills. Being able to identify your bias while carefully analysing an issue and weighing up contextual accuracy, in order to make fair conclusions are also necessary skills.    

Classifying everything said by a high-ranking official of a Western country as “imperialist evil intentions” does not make you smart or realistic. Non-existent weapons of mass destruction in Iraq has led to American citizens losing trust in the government. Incidents such as the Japanese oil tanker owner using specific facts to disagree with the statements of Mike Pompeo and John Bolton about who attacked the tankers in the Strait of Hormuz?

Before you claim the American government is purposely aiming to create war, remember that sources such as the CIA are responsible for providing information to these officials to make decisions. When did this problem with the CIA begin, of outsourcing more than they should to independent contractors? How compromised is the CIA, in terms of manpower and structural organization?

What are the facts? What do you need to know? Would you need to know details of who the CIA is relying on? What would you need to verify? Is this article about the CIA’s problems reliable, or does it lack details you need to know?

The Hong Kong protests by the people over a proposed extradition law was cited by an article in Mint Press News. Primary claims accused the CIA from the USA pushing an agenda for regime change while ignoring everything else relevant to Hong Kong’s government, the Hong Kong people, China and Taiwan.

If you wish to understand the finer details of the extradition law, you need to find an accurate translation of the details or read the original details in Mandarin. Taiwan’s Ministry of Justice angrily rebutted Hong Kong’s Special Administrative Region government, stating the proposed amendments extend beyond what Taiwan is willing to agree to, while stating Hong Kong’s government did not co-operate with Taiwan over the issue (which Mint Press News superficially referenced in English).

Alexander Rubenstein made the mistake of citing his primary source in the Mint Press article as a newspaper article by a Twitter user with the handle of ComradeXiangYu. ComradeXiangYu’s self-description is as follows:

[ Red rapper, Bolshevik beatmaker. Supporter of the DPRK’s just struggle against US imperialism. Anti-Zionist, pro-Palestine. I try to be a good communist. ]

ComradeXiangYu’s posts include implying China is too lenient on Hong Kong, lambasting liberals, and indulging one-sided echo chamber rhetoric. Taiwan has actively refused China’s various methods of soft power and hard power to “reunite” with China, while closely monitoring “one country, two systems” affecting Hong Kong ever since the island was returned to China by the British. Did Alexander Rubenstein do necessary reading? He is clearly not aware of Taiwan’s stance, and the geopolitics of Hong Kong, Taiwan and China.  

Figure out the questions. Ask questions. Read. Be careful of losing contact with reality in an echo chamber. Hurling over-generalizations in places favouring your views populated with people holding similar views while they over-generalize and disparage others (this is common on comment sections in CNN, New York Times, Fox News, Consortium News, or Facebook groups such as “Truth in Journalism”) doesn’t make your post or comment investigative or accurate. Identifying as left or right does not make you more likely to be accurate on a topic or avoid faulty groupthink. 

National security and education of every country are vital sectors for informing citizens and protecting sovereignty, in order to be fair to citizens, legal migrants and genuine refugees. There are many jobs which are available for legal migrants but when it comes to specific fields of oversight and specific responsibilities, citizens should be properly funded and hired to handle those roles, with systems in place to ensure checks and balances.

If the problem today begins with the perceptions and bias of those who judge you before you can do more than present one snippet of information to them, what would you present? How would you do it? Most importantly, how would you get to people who have common sense (rational intelligence and a willingness to action), to make things happen?


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